The Los Angeles Clippers were eliminated from playoff contention after losing to the Denver Nuggets, 134-115, at Staplers Center Saturday afternoon (April 7).
The Clippers dropped to 42-38 after the loss and their streak of six consecutive seasons making it to the playoffs comes to an end.
The Nuggets (45-35) remain at No. 9 in the Western Conference after the win and stood a half-game behind the No. 5 New Orleans Pelicans (45-34). Denver has the same record as Minnesota, but the Timberwolves currently own the tiebreaker after winning two of their first three head-to-head matchups.
They will conclude the series in the regular-season finale Wednesday in Minnesota.
The Pelicans play on the road against the Golden State Warriors (57-22) Saturday night and a loss could send them tumbling down the standings.
At the same time the Pelicans are playing the Warriors, Oklahoma City (45-34) will be playing Houston and San Antonio (45-34) will be hosting Portland.
If the Pelicans lose to Golden State, they could drop to No. 9 with wins by the Thunder and the Spurs. A win would allow them to hold on to the fifth seed and possibly create some separation from the pack.
The Pelicans play against the Clippers on Monday and the Clippers may end up sitting some of their players now that they are no longer in the playoff picture.
Nuggets guard Will Barton had 31 points in Saturday’s win and Nikola Jokic added 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists — his ninth triple-double of the season.
Here’s a look at the Western Conference playoff race after Denver’s win:
1. Houston Rockets — 64-15
2. Golden State Warriors — 57-22
3. Portland Trail Blazers — 48-31
4. Utah Jazz — 46-33
5. New Orleans Pelicans — 45-34
6. San Antonio Spurs — 45-34
7. Oklahoma City Thunder — 45-34
8. Minnesota Timberwolves — 45-35
9. Denver Nuggets — 45-35
Will Guillory can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.258.5344. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WillGuillory. You can subscribe to our Pelicans Youtube channel here.